Government Run International Education Week Strives To Bring Countries Together

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While news of war and unrest may dominate the media, the U.S. Departments of Education and State are participating in a joint effort to promote multiculturalism and international education via International Education Week (IEW) through five days of global events and conferences starting November 14., the number one online resource for study abroad information, sees IEW as an ideal chance to spread international understanding through education, an often overlooked source. The website is celebrating IEW by running a sweepstakes in which a grand prize winner will have a chance to study in a foreign country.

“Studying abroad is one of the most effective forms of foreign relations,” said Mark Shay, president and CEO of Educational Directories Unlimited (EDU), the company behind “Sending our students abroad and accepting other countries’ students into our schools is a perfect way to spread cultural understanding and acceptance.”

He went on to say, “If a student has a valuable experience in your country and takes that experience back to his or her homeland, there is the potential to dispel negative myths and stereotypes held by the country’s citizens. The more opportunities a country has to present its true human side as opposed to the often misguided beliefs held by other countries, the more chance it has to find partners and friends in the world.” has been promoting international education for 10 years. Their latest advocacy effort is, a website using Web logs to chronicle the adventures of three American students studying abroad and one international student traveling to America. The website also runs yearly student sweepstakes and contests for study abroad advisors.

This year’s sweepstakes will give a student $1,000 to attend SUNY New Paltz's fall semester 2006 in Wellington, New Zealand, with $500 worth of airfare coming from, another EDU website.

“This is our way of trying to help the cause,” said John Duncan, the manager of “By helping a student travel abroad, we are doing our part to create a more internationalized world. When an American student goes abroad, he or she realizes that not everyone from that country thinks and acts a particular way, and the people from that country realize that not every American thinks and acts a particular way. There is diversity everywhere. Understanding that is an important step in creating good foreign relations.”    

To enter the sweepstakes, go to The deadline is April 1, 2006. A grand prize winner will be chosen at the end of March. Ten runners-up will receive a prize pack including a T-shirt. This sweepstakes is only open to students who are in good standing at a U.S. institution and who are over the age of 18. Entrants' information will be automatically shared with the other sponsors. Other restrictions apply.

IEW was established by the Clinton Administration in 2000. During November 14-18, 2005, campuses, embassies and communities are encouraged to hold activities celebrating international education and diversity. For more information, go to the Department of Education and the Department of State’s official website, is the Internet’s leading source of information on educational opportunities for students to study in other countries. It is a comprehensive directory of study abroad and intensive language programs organized by subject and destination. also offers Destination Portal Pages, a handbook serving as a guide to traveling abroad, and financial aid information. is a service of Educational Directories Unlimited, Inc. (EDU), a leading Internet company serving higher education. Based in suburban Philadelphia, EDU's steady growth since its inception in 1989 has led to its inclusion in the Philadelphia 100, Inc. Magazine/ICIC Inner City 100 and Inc. 500 lists of fast growing businesses.


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